Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Derby Cocktails, 2017

This Saturday is the Kentucky Derby, and you all know what that means: Big hats and mint juleps! But if mint juleps aren't your thing, or if you just want a little more variety, I have some suggestions for cocktails you might choose, based on the horse you're rooting for. (Note: Malagacy and Battalion Runner have scratched as of this writing, so I have not listed cocktails for them. Royal Mo is officially an alternate, but he has a cocktail just in case.)


The majority of these are bourbon-based because, well, it IS the KENTUCKY Derby, after all.

Classic Empire: The "classic" Old Fashioned
In an old-fashioned glass, combine 1 teaspoon simple syrup (or a sugar cube and a teaspoon of water), 2 dashes of bitters, and 2 ounces of bourbon. Add ice and stir. Squeeze a fresh orange peel over the drink a few times, then drop it in and add more ice and a maraschino cherry.

Always Dreaming: Two Left Feet (created by a bartender at Dream Baby, a bar in NY)
Pour 2 ounces bourbon and 3/4 ounces Domaine de Canton over ice in a glass and stir.

Irish War Cry: Man O'War
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. orange Curacao (or triple sec), 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth, and 1/2 oz. lemon juice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist and a brandied cherry.

Gunnevera: Peacock Martini (Gunnevera is owned by Peacock Racing Stables)
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine two parts vodka to one part blue Curacao. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with a pineapple wedge and an orange twist. 

McCracken: White Empress (in honor of his dam, Ivory Empress)
In a cocktail shaker over ice, combine 2 oz. light rum, 1 oz. St. Germain, and 1-1/2 oz. ruby red grapefruit juice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass.

Irap: Silk Road (in honor of his dam, Silken Cat)
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. orange juice, 1/2 oz. honey, a dash of Angostura bitters, and a dash of orange bitters (optional). Shake well and strain into a bucket glass with a single large ice cube. Garnish with orange peel.

Tapwrit: The Eclipse (in honor of one of his owners, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners)
Place a cherry in a chilled martini glass and cover with grenadine. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 oz. sloe gin, 1 oz. gin, and 1/2 oz. lemon juice. Shake well and strain into prepared glass.

Gormley: The JG (John Gormley)
In a cocktail shaker over ice, combine 1-1/2 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. simple syrup, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and a dash of Angostura bitters. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Thunder Snow: Cajun Thunder
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 oz. Southern Comfort, 1/2 oz. bourbon, and 1 dash Tabasco sauce. Shake and strain into a chilled shot glass.

Girvin: Yuletide Moon (in honor of his dam, Catch the Moon)
Muddle four cherries in a tall glass. Add 2-3 tablespoons orange juice, 1 oz. bourbon, 1-1/2 oz. merlot, and 1-2 teaspoons real maple syrup, and mix. Pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon peel and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Practical Joke: Lemon-Ginger Bourbon Fizz
Over ice in a cocktail shaker, combine 2 ounces bourbon and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Shake well and pour into chilled glass. Add 2 ounces ginger beer (or ginger ale) and 2 ounces club soda. Stir gently and garnish with a lemon wedge or slice.

Conquest Mo Money: Gold Rush
In a cocktail shaker over ice, combine 2 oz. bourbon, 3/4 oz. Domaine de Canton, and 1/2 oz. lemon juice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or a lemon twist.

J Boys Echo: The Jewel Mine (in honor of his sire, Mineshaft)
Pour 2 oz. bourbon, 3/4 oz. pomegranate liqueur, and 2 dashes bitters into a rocks glass. Add ice and top with a splash of tonic water. Garnish with a cucumber wheel.

Hence: The Derby (recipe courtesy of Calumet Bourbon, which may or may not have a connection to Hence's owner and breeder, Calumet Farm)
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 oz. bourbon, 3/4 oz. lime juice, 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth, and 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier. Shake well and strain into a glass. Garnish with a lime wedge or a mint leaf.

Lookin at Lee: The Bee Stinger (because it feels as southern as Robert E. Lee)
Over ice in a cocktail shaker, combine 1-1/2 oz. bourbon, 3/4 oz. honey-flavored whiskey (Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Whiskey or Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur are both good choices; you can also use regular whiskey and a good dollop of honey), and 3/4 oz. Limoncello. Shake until cold, then pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

State of Honor: Mint Julep (it IS the Kentucky state cocktail, after all)
Place about 10 fresh mint leaves in the bottom of an old fashioned glass and top with 1-1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar. Muddle together until the leaves start to break down. Add a splash of seltzer water and fill the glass halfway with ice, then add 2-1/2 oz. bourbon. Top with another splash of seltzer, stir, and garnish with additional mint leaves.

Cloud Computing: Cloud Nine Martini
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. amaretto, 1 oz. pineapple juice, a splash of grenadine, and a splash of 7-Up or Sprite. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Patch: The Briar Patch
In a cocktail shaker (without ice), combine 4 oz. gin, 1 oz. simple syrup, 2 teaspoons blackberry or raspberry jam, and two tablespoons lemon juice. Stir to break apart the jam, then add ice and shake vigorously. Pour into an old-fashioned glass with ice and garnish with a blackberry.

Battle of Midway: Fox River Cocktail (in honor of his owner, Fox Hill Farms)
In a cocktail shaker over ice, combine 2 oz. bourbon, 1 tablespoon creme de cacao, and 4 dashes bitters. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Sonneteer: A true martini (which, according to H.L. Mencken, is "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.")
In a cocktail shaker of ice, combine 2 oz. gin, 1/2 oz. dry vermouth, and 1-2 dashes orange bitters. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Squeeze a twist of lemon over the glass and add as a garnish.

Royal Mo: Kentucky Royale
In a cocktail shaker of ice, combine 1 oz. bourbon, 3/4 oz. Chambord, and 1/2 oz. lemon juice. Shake well and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with a splash of ginger beer and garnish with fresh raspberries.

Untrapped: The Mousetrap
In a cocktail shaker of ice, combine 1-1/2 oz. dry sherry, 1 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. sweet vermouth, and 4 dashes cherry bitters. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Fast and Accurate: Heidi's Comet (in honor of his dam, It's Heidi's Dance)
Fill a glass with ice and add equal parts vodka. amaretto, and apple cider, and stir. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

So...are you choosing your cocktail based on your horse of choice, or your horse based on your cocktail of choice?


Bookmark and Share